On May 31st, “America’s Got Talent” returned with a spectacular two hour premiere episode of its 17th season. Host Terry Crews welcomed series judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel back to the dais with performances from the first set of performance artists out of thousands that auditioned. Among those acts was saxophonist Avery Dixon, the last to perform on the premiere and first to earn a Golden Buzzer this season. Watch the full audition in the video above.
Ahead of his golden audition, Avery’s mom told him he’s “show ready” and Terry explained to him that his mom pushing him to try out is about “letting the people who believe in you do their thing.” From that moment with Terry is may have been clear how much love he’d bestow upon Avery after hearing his personal story and hearing his emotionally stirring instrumental performance.
At the age of 21, Avery was visibly nervous on stage when speaking to the judges before his audition. He told Simon about his experience being bullied growing up because of physical and vocal differences attributable to being born premature. The bullying put Avery in a suicidal mindset that left him wanting to quit, but the saxophone was what taught him he could tune all of those hateful people out. As it does for many others, music saved Avery’s life.
Heidi kicked off the judges’ critiques by pointing out that “if Howie Mandel gets up to dance that means you’re really good.” Howie exclaimed that he loves Avery, loves who he is and that he will change the world. Heidi continued by saying that everyone feels that he plays the instrument from the heart, Sofia added that it was a special and emotional performance, and Simon hoped that Avery’s bullies (“idiots,” he called them) watched his audition.
Before the judges could finish their votes to send Avery through to the next round, Terry jumped in, descending from the stage to say that there’s “no need to vote.” Terry said that Avery “touched the heart of every human being in this building right now” and told him to tell every bully that he now has a “big brother named Terry Crews who is here and has got your back.” A tearful Avery listened on as Terry screamed that they’ll have to “watch you succeed” as he slammed his hand down on the Golden Buzzer!
How much did YOU like Avery Dixon and do you think they can take home the $1 million prize? Sound off on them and the rest of the new season in the comments below and with other fans in our reality TV forum. Also be sure to make your predictions to influence our reality TV racetrack odds.